Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

When does your job become your CAREER?

on September 1, 2010

My Dad: “Aren’t you glad I got you that job?”

Me: “No, dad.  I’m happy you got me the interview. I got myself the job.”

The search for a job is never easy. At least not for me.  I have a friend into whose lap jobs just seem to fall like so many acorns from oak trees.  But, she also has a vast network of friends and professional acquaintances who know and like her and make connections with and for her.  She’s great at networking, without even trying.  That, I think is the secret to her success.  She networks because she loves knowing and meeting people, not because she’s trying to get something out of it, so it works.  I’ve always been a bit more retiring, less extroverted and less adept at following up with professional connections.  So, for me, it’s a slog.  Always.

Until three years ago, I was working at a foundation in New York.  It was a job that lacked challenge.  I learned all there was to know about my job and my organization within 6 months of starting, then kept at it for another two and a half years after it became obvious that there were no more challenges coming and that there was no opportunity for growth.  I went through waves of job searches, but it was exhausting and after months of applying, I’d take some time off and resign myself to my job for however long it was going to take.

Then, my father called and said that an organization in his building was hiring, was doing international something and wanted my resume.  I sent it to him, and three days later, I got a call from their CFO.  We talked for about two hours before I was invited to come to Boston for an interview.  This was a Friday afternoon.  Monday morning, I had my interview, and Tuesday I had a job offer.  Three weeks later, my life moved 250 miles north, and I started work.

When I was hired they said that they wanted a two-year committment, that it could be a springboard into some other work in the field.  After a year and half here, I was promoted, and sent to work interviewing people and running meetings in foreign countries.

Now, like everyone else, my organization is feeling the crunch of the economy.  We just moved into a smaller office this week, we’ve been asked to take temporary pay cuts and now, even though I really don’t want to, I’m thinking again about updating my resume and looking for something else.   I’m going to wait until I absolutely have to start looking though.  I love my job, I like my co-workers and I feel, for the first time in my professional career, like I’m doing something important.  I’m helping contribute to the body of knowledge that will change how people do their work, make them want to do better, to be better, to think more and work harder.  I’ve already felt a personal transformation from my work here.  It’s starting to feel like I’ve found what I want to be doing with my life.

I’ve stopped having a job.  Now I have a career.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: